NBA Grind Down: Wednesday, April 24th

Welcome to the RotoGrinders NBA Grind Down. In this all-encompassing preview of today’s NBA action, every game will be broken down statistically, with several key elements highlighted in our charts.

Vegas lines are broken down to show projected Implied Team Totals, to give you an idea of who is favored to win, and often more importantly, how many points they’re expected to score. We also provide pace numbers, so you can spot a game that might have a few extra possessions and more opportunities for fantasy points.

We also provide position-by-position matchup rankings for every team, to give you an idea of the players who will be in better situations to succeed. Using Defense versus Position data, every projected starter is listed along with his opponent’s rank in points allowed to players of his position. These color-coded charts will help you spot the best matchups of the night at a glance.

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Legend & FAQ


Utah Jazz at Houston Rockets – 8:00 AM ET

Utah Jazz Houston Rockets
Vegas Total 212.5 Vegas Total 212.5
Vegas Spread 8.0 Vegas Spread -8.0
Implied Team Total 102.3 Implied Team Total 110.3
Pace Projection +/- -4.0 Pace Projection +/- -1.5
Projected Starters Ricky Rubio Donovan Mitchell Joe Ingles Jae Crowder Rudy Gobert Projected Starters Chris Paul James Harden Eric Gordon PJ Tucker Clint Capela
Matchup PG SG SF PF C Matchup PG SG SF PF C
DEFF 17 1 27 29 14 DEFF 13 4 10 21 1
DvsA 8 8 16 22 6 DvsA 7 7 2 1 19

Utah Jazz

Notable Injuries

None

Utah Jazz Offense

Points Per Game (L10): 119.4 (4 of 30)
Implied Team Total: 102.3 (4 of 4)
Projected Point Differential: -9.5 (4 of 4)

Matchup vs. Houston Rockets

Points Allowed Per Game (L10): 102.5 (1 of 30)
Defensive Rating (L10): 110.1 (17 of 30)
Rebounding % (L10): 48.1 (28 of 30)
Pace of Play (L10): 98.4 (27 of 30)

Player FD Salary DK Salary FDRFT Salary FP/Game Playoffs +/- Minutes Playoffs +/- FP/Min True Usage DEFF DvsA DRPM
Ricky Rubio $7,400 $5,700 $11,100 27.8 8.2 27.9 5.3 1.00 22.7% 17 8 1
Donovan Mitchell $9,200 $7,600 $13,900 37.6 -0.1 33.7 4.8 1.12 29.6% 1 8 10
Joe Ingles $5,700 $4,900 $9,900 27.3 -6.4 31.3 -1.7 0.87 17.8% 27 16 23
Jae Crowder $4,700 $4,300 $8,200 22.7 -1.4 27.1 -3.1 0.84 17.8% 29 22 3
Rudy Gobert $8,300 $6,800 $12,400 42.1 -7.0 31.8 -1.4 1.32 15.9% 14 6 14
Royce O’Neale $4,500 $4,000 $7,300 13.8 3.9 20.4 5.7 0.67 10.8% N/A 22 N/A
Derrick Favors $7,100 $5,300 $10,700 27.7 3.3 23.2 -1.8 1.19 17.7% N/A 11 N/A
Georges Niang $3,500 $3,200 $6,300 7.2 3.7 8.8 1.5 0.82 16.3% N/A 6 N/A

The Jazz staved off elimination the other night, but now they face the daunting task of still having to win 3 more in order to advance. Utah is an 8-point underdog tonight, and their implied team total of 102.3 points is the lowest on the slate by a hefty 8-point margin.

Ricky Rubio has averaged 1.09 FP/min in this series thus far, and he’ll play a minimum of 30 minutes tonight. Point guard thins out pretty quickly tonight, especially on FanDuel. Rubio is a fine value at $5,700 on DraftKings, but he’s in play at his ridiculous $7,400 price on FD simply because of a lack of options. I’m not a fan of the matchup, but he’s been productive in the series thus far.

Donovan Mitchell knows he has to keep getting his shots up if the Jazz are going to keep up in this series. He’s taken 27 and 26 shots in the last two games, respectively, and there’s no reason to believe he won’t keep chucking tonight. Shooting guard isn’t a great position, either, but it does have better step-downs than the point guard spot on FD. Mitchell is a great tournament play tonight, but not someone I’ll be looking to prioritize.

Joe Ingles has completely forgotten how to shoot a basketball in this series. His price has come down to playable levels around the industry, but the fact that he’s given the Jazz nothing in the first 4 games is obviously a concern. Jae Crowder feels like a bit of a chase after his big Game 4, but he’s still inexpensive and the minutes upside is there now that he’s starting over Derrick Favors. He’s a nice cheap way to fill your small forward spot, though I imagine he’ll also be quite a bit more chalky than the more expensive Ingles at the same position.

Derrick Favors has averaged a team-best 1.38 FP/min in this series, and he still saw 24 minutes in the last game despite playing off the bench. Favors is a bit like Rubio in that he’s a nice value option on DK but his price is jacked way up on FD at a thin position. I’d be surprised if he failed to pay off the DraftKings price tag. Rudy Gobert has seen his productivity decline as the series has progressed, and he’s averaged 1.10 FP/min after averaging nearly 1.30 FP/min during the regular season. His price has come down, though, and it’s a 2-game slate. He’s the top raw points center option tonight almost by default.

Elite PlaysRudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell (GPP), Ricky Rubio (DK), Jae Crowder

Secondary PlaysJoe Ingles, Donovan Mitchell (cash), Ricky Rubio (FD), Derrick Favors (DK)


Houston Rockets

Notable Injuries

None

Houston Rockets Offense

Points Per Game (L10): 119.4 (4 of 30)
Implied Team Total: 110.3 (3 of 4)
Projected Point Differential: -3.7 (2 of 4)

Matchup vs. Utah Jazz

Points Allowed Per Game (L10): 106.0 (4 of 30)
Defensive Rating (L10): 105.2 (2 of 30)
Rebounding % (L10): 52.2 (3 of 30)
Pace of Play (L10): 100.9 (14 of 30)

Player FD Salary DK Salary FDRFT Salary FP/Game Playoffs +/- Minutes Playoffs +/- FP/Min True Usage DEFF DvsA DRPM
Chris Paul $8,100 $7,100 $13,200 37.7 2.3 32.0 -0.1 1.18 24.4% 13 7 3
James Harden $11,800 $10,400 $18,600 58.4 -6.3 36.8 -1.0 1.59 37.6% 4 7 6
Eric Gordon $4,800 $4,500 $8,700 23.4 0.0 31.7 2.5 0.74 20.7% 10 2 4
PJ Tucker $6,000 $4,600 $9,000 21.6 4.9 34.2 0.6 0.63 9.0% 21 1 26
Clint Capela $7,700 $6,700 $12,400 39.1 -10.0 33.6 -3.0 1.16 16.4% 1 19 1
Danuel House $3,600 $3,500 $6,800 16.7 -3.2 25.1 -1.4 0.67 12.9% N/A 1 N/A
Austin Rivers $3,500 $3,100 $6,000 15.7 -4.4 26.7 -7.2 0.59 14.4% N/A 14 N/A
Gerald Green $3,500 $3,100 $6,000 14.9 -6.1 20.2 -8.4 0.74 17.6% N/A 2 N/A

The Rockets are just below the Clippers in terms of implied team total (110.3) tonight and they’re 8-point favorites against the Jazz.

Chris Paul boasts a 27% usage rate in the series with an average of 1.23 FP/min. James Harden, meanwhile, has a usage over 38% with an average of 1.55 FPPM. CP3 showed in the last game that the ceiling is still there, and he comes with a nice high floor for cash games. He’s perfectly fine at his price point, and he’s squarely in play if you don’t want to pay a premium for Rubio on FanDuel. Harden wasn’t great by his standards in the 2 games in Utah, but he’s the top overall play on the slate, clearly. I’d just plug Harden into my lineups and figure out the rest around him.

Eric Gordon is never an option that stands out, but he’s viable thanks to a general lack of decent value on this slate. He’s averaging just 0.71 FP/min in the series, but it helps that he’s played 38 minutes in back-to-back games. P.J. Tucker is also going to play all the minutes he can handle. It never feels good to roster him, but Utah is just 21st in defensive rating against power forwards over the last 10 games. He’s $6,000 on FanDuel, though, which is just something I can’t stomach. $4,500 on DraftKings is also an overpay, but it’s more palatable.

Clint Capela has only averaged 0.93 FP/min in the series, which makes sense considering he’s spent most of his time tangling with Rudy Gobert. Capela isn’t a bad option by any means, but I’d prefer to target Gobert at a similar price point given the gap in per-minute production. Guys like Danuel House and Austin Rivers could be a way to differentiate some tournament lineups, but they’re GPP darts, even on a 2-game slate.

Elite PlaysJames Harden, Chris Paul

Secondary PlaysP.J. Tucker (DK), Eric Gordon, Clint Capela  

About the Author

  • Taylor Smith (tcsmith031)

  • Taylor Smith is a native Texan (required by all fellow Texans to report this at all times) and Southern California-based sports writer. He has been playing daily fantasy sports regularly since 2012, going back to the days of DraftStreet (RIP). He specializes in MLB and NBA while dabbling in a few other sports like a true degen when the other two are out of season. He has written about DFS in the past at Bang The Book, and you can find some of his previous work on SB Nation and FanRag Sports.

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